Friday 20 July 2018

Watch: Michael O'Leary finally wins the Ryanair Chase as Balko Des Flos stuns Un De Sceaux

Davy Russell celebrates on Balko Des Flos after winning the 14:50 Ryanair Chase REUTERS/Darren Staples
Davy Russell celebrates on Balko Des Flos after winning the 14:50 Ryanair Chase REUTERS/Darren Staples

Nick Robson

Balko Des Flos gave Michael O'Leary's Gigginstown House Stud a first win the race he sponsors by storming home in the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham.

Davy Russell, completing a quick double after winning the Pertemps Final on Delta Work in the Gigginstown colours, was always travelling well on the Henry de Bromhead-trained seven-year-old.

He ranged menacingly alongside last year's winner Un De Sceaux and cruised into the lead three out.

After that the result was not in doubt, as the 8-1 chance asserted in great style to strike by four and a half lengths from the Willie Mullins-trained 8-11 favourite. Cloudy Dream was third for Ruth Jefferson.

Colin Tizzard's Festival stalwart Cue Card was pulled up by Paddy Brennan before the 12th obstacle after losing his place.

Russell said: "I thought his chance had lessened with the more rain that fell, but Henry de Bromhead is a master at this."

De Bromhead said: "Fantastic, delighted - a brilliant ride.

"You had to give him a chance, obviously, but I got a bit worried when the ground went soft.

"I thought his run at Christmas was very good and the lads (Gigginstown House Stud) said to put him away and go for this.

"Davy gave him a brilliant ride and he was super."

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